Kermit La Union: Come for the Food, Stay for the Vibes (and Drinks!)

Kermit La Union review
What does it take for people to drive for 5 hours and line up at your door, eager for a slice or two of pizza? For me, it’s a combination of great food, a winning ambience, friendly service, and a captivating setting—and Kermit in San Juan, La Union seems to have nailed it all.

Situated at the beachside end of the Great Northwest, a famous food compound in Urbiztondo, Kermit draws in hordes of hungry diners week after week with its delicious offerings and fantastic drinks. But their charm doesn’t stop there. The lines are crazy, the food could take a while to get to your table during the busiest times, but why do people still flock to it?

Kermit La Union review

Kermit’s interiors immediately strike you upon arrival, with the brown, blue, and white color scheme that seems to mimic the sand and sea. But as enthralling as the insides are, the seats on the deck with a view of the beach are just as attractive—especially if you go by sundown. Let’s be real here: Urbiztondo Beach is not as breathtaking as the ones in Boracay, Palawan, or Bohol, but there’s something about it that just makes you want to lounge around and stay.

Kermit La Union review
It would be foolish to visit Kermit and not try the pizza—and so we did. What I love about Kermit is that they offer a line up of specials, which changes every month or so. We tried the Pizza Cresentina which simply has zucchini, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and dollops of mascarpone. It was served with some spicy honey to give a kick to each bite. Delicious. The crust is beautiful, charred unevenly and crispy on some sides, exactly how I like my pizza. I think I ate 5 slices. LOL. (Take note that this was part of the specials, so it might not be available anymore when you visit.)

Kermit La Union review
The Linguine al Mare, another special, is a dish that allowed the ingredients to speak for themselves. There were some shrimps, cherry tomatoes, and a seared pollock fish fillet on top. The flavors weren’t too bold but instead, you appreciate the tomatoes, the olive oil—I don’t even know if there’s garlic in there. There could be, but not too much. As someone who puts forty cloves of garlic in everything, I was looking for a strong pop in each bite—it never happened, but I also polished off the plate.

Kermit La Union review
Speaking of garlic, if you’re looking for that, order the Gambas al Aglio. Juicy shrimps are cooked in tons of garlic and olive oil, along with chunks of Vigan longganisa. As you probably know, La Union local food is characteristically Ilocano, so it’s good that Kermit is utilizing the local specialties and incorporating them in the menu (I do wish to see more, aside from longganisa). This dish is fucking delicious! It’s served with homemade thin, crispy focaccia which you’d want to mop the leftover oils with.

Kermit La Union review
One could only eat enough—especially during a short trip—but the same couldn’t be said about drinks. Hahaha. I tried a lot of cocktails at Kermit and believe me, there was not a single one that I didn’t like. The head bartender, Ian Libang, is my friend from back when he was still based in Manila, but I speak without bias here.

Kermit La Union review
The cocktails are mostly light and refreshing, straightforward and approachable—perfect for the beachside setting and great complements to the food. And this is what you want in a place like Kermit. If one drink is strong or heavy enough to bog you down early, how are you going to enjoy the ambience, the food, and the loungey beats from their DJs? And this is what happened to me—I had plans to visit 4 bars in one night but I stayed firmly planted on my seat at Kermit!!

Kermit La Union review
The Pandan Negroni is an interesting take on the classic cocktail—it’s bitter, sweet, and slightly boozy with a brightness coming from the pandan. I didn’t expect to like it because I don’t like pandan, but I did! I wonder what Tony would think of this negroni. If you like sour drinks, get the Great Northwest Side which has gin, peach, mint, and fresh citrus. The Cucumber and Basil is a crowd pleaser with its refreshing combination of gin, cucumber, lime juice, and basil. You can probably see a pattern here—I ordered drinks mostly with a gin base. LOL!

Kermit La Union review
The Aperol Spritz is the perfect sunset drink—and if you’re in an Italian restaurant, you simply have to trust them and get one. Order a cheese platter to go with it or the gambas, like I did. It manages to be refreshing while giving you a slight buzz. By the way, Kermit offers this drink at 20% off every day from 2 to 7 PM, except on Sundays—wherein it’s discounted all day!

Kermit La Union review
Kermit can also customize a drink for you (for a special price) and you can let the bartenders know your preferred flavor profiles. I tried one and I got a really boozy, sour, herby, and smoky cocktail (as I requested). I don’t remember what’s in it—all I know is that is has rosemary, wine, plus another spirit—just like the other drinks I had because I think I had eight that day, hahaha.

Kermit La Union review
Right after dinner, the music gets louder and the vibe changes form lounge to party. Diners leave their tables to dance, people begin to chat with each other. I met two girls who were just visiting from Ilocos for the night. I met some Manila folks who have decided to settle in Elyu in the midst of the pandemic. And while most of the time the DJ commands the vibes, I think at Kermit, the bartenders and the servers are the ones who deserve more credit. People who enjoy helping their customers have the best time are my favorite people. I don’t know how to explain it—maybe just go to Kermit and see for yourself.

Kermit La Union
The Great Northwest, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union
Wed: 4:00PM - 11:00PM; Thu - Mon: 11:30AM - 2:00PM; 4:00PM - 11:00PM
Budget: PhP700 up for food and a drink (more if you drink like me)

Have you tried Kermit? What do you think about it? What's your favorite cocktail?

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